Category Archives: EMDR


Unleash the Power of Your Mind: The Ultimate Guide to EMDR Therapy!

In our daily lives, we encounter a variety of challenges. Stress, trauma, and anxiety are but a few hurdles that countless people experience. But what if there was a revolutionary therapy capable of mitigating these burdens and fostering mental well-being? Enter Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a unique therapeutic approach that can help individuals overcome various psychological issues.

Understanding EMDR

EMDR, developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Francine Shapiro, is a form of psychotherapy that aids people in processing and integrating traumatic memories to reduce their long-term impact (1). It’s designed to heal the symptoms of trauma that linger in our minds, obstructing us from living our lives to the fullest.

The theory behind EMDR is that our brains can naturally recover from traumatic experiences, much like our bodies heal physical wounds. However, certain traumatic events can overwhelm this natural process, leaving emotional wounds that don’t heal on their own. EMDR therapy stimulates the brain’s natural healing process by having patients recall traumatic experiences while the therapist guides their eye movements (1).

How EMDR Works

EMDR therapy generally follows an eight-phase approach, each designed to ensure that every aspect of a traumatic experience is thoroughly addressed (2).

  1. History Taking: The therapist assesses the client’s history to understand their life experiences and identify potential targets for EMDR processing.
  2. Preparation: The therapist prepares the client by explaining the EMDR process and teaching them several self-control techniques.
  3. Assessment: The target traumatic memory is activated, and the client identifies the image, negative belief, associated emotions, and body sensations related to it.
  4. Desensitization: The therapist leads the client in sets of eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) with appropriate breaks to process the memory.
  5. Installation: The therapist helps the client to replace the negative belief with a positive one.
  6. Body Scan: The client is asked to think of the target memory and the new positive belief, then note any residual physical sensations.
  7. Closure: The therapist ensures the client leaves each session feeling better than or as good as at the start.
  8. Reevaluation: At the beginning of subsequent sessions, the therapist checks to ensure that the positive effects of previous sessions have been maintained (2).

EMDR Effectiveness

A substantial body of research supports EMDR’s effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A meta-analysis of 26 randomized controlled trials found EMDR to be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for reducing symptoms of PTSD and maintained these effects over time (3). EMDR is also recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and PTSD by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Department of Defense (4).

EMDR has also shown promise in treating a range of other mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, although more research is needed to firmly establish its effectiveness for these conditions (5).

The Power of EMDR

The power of EMDR lies in its capacity to transform lives by equipping individuals with the means to process trauma. It’s a tool that can empower individuals to unleash the healing capabilities of their own minds.

Remember, it’s important to consult with a professional healthcare provider when considering EMDR therapy. Mental health matters and it’s crucial to find the therapy and therapist that are right for you.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a widely recognized and well-studied treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The therapy aims to reduce the long-term psychological impact of traumatic memories by activating the brain’s natural healing process.

Here’s how EMDR therapy works in the context of PTSD:

1. History and Treatment Planning: Initially, the therapist and client will go over the client’s history, identifying traumatic memories that will be the focus of EMDR treatment. This often involves creating a treatment plan that targets specific memories, current incidents causing distress, and future scenarios that might trigger PTSD symptoms.

2. Preparation: The therapist explains the EMDR process to the client, equipping them with various stress reduction techniques they can use during and between sessions. The aim is to establish a trusting therapeutic relationship and ensure the client feels safe and in control.

3. Assessment: The therapist helps the client select a specific traumatic memory to work on. The memory is deconstructed into an image that represents the memory, a negative belief about oneself, related emotions, and body sensations.

4. Desensitization: The therapist guides the client’s eye movements (or uses another form of bilateral stimulation such as hand-tapping or audio stimulation) while the client focuses on the traumatic memory and their physical and emotional responses. This process is believed to engage the brain’s natural adaptive information processing mechanism.

5. Installation: The goal is to replace the negative belief associated with the traumatic memory with a positive one. The client is asked to hold the traumatic memory in mind along with the new positive belief while the therapist continues with the bilateral stimulation.

6. Body Scan: The client is asked to think about the traumatic memory and the positive belief, and then to notice any residual physical sensations. If there are any negative sensations, these are targeted with additional sets of eye movements.

7. Closure: Each EMDR session aims to ensure the client leaves feeling as good or better than at the start. The client may be asked to keep a log during the week documenting any related material that may arise.

8. Reevaluation: The therapist checks the client’s progress at the start of subsequent sessions, ensuring that the positive effects of previous sessions have been maintained, and identifying any new areas that need treatment.

In PTSD, the traumatic event can continue to have a significant negative impact on the individual’s life. EMDR therapy helps by allowing individuals to process these traumatic events, reducing their psychological impact and alleviating PTSD symptoms. Importantly, EMDR therapy should be administered by a trained professional within a comprehensive treatment plan.

Several studies have found EMDR to be effective in treating PTSD. For instance, a 2016 meta-analysis published in the Psychological Bulletin found that EMDR was as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy for reducing symptoms of PTSD and that these effects were maintained over time (1).

Unlock your mind’s potential, and let the healing begin.


  1. Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  2. EMDR Institute, Inc.
  3. Cuijpers, P., Karyotaki, E., Weitz, E., Andersson, G., Hollon, S. D., van Straten, A. (2016). The effects of psychotherapies for major depression in adults on remission, recovery and improvement: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 142(3), 293-317.
  4. World Health Organization
  5. American Psychological Association
  6. Cuijpers, P., Karyotaki, E., Weitz, E., Andersson, G., Hollon, S. D., van Straten, A. (2016). The effects of psychotherapies for major depression in adults on remission, recovery and improvement: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 142(3), 293-317.

Originally posted 2023-07-12 16:15:40.

Is EMDR Right for You? 5 Signs You Could Benefit from This Powerful Therapy

Is EMDR Right for You? 5 Signs You Could Benefit from This Powerful Therapy

Trauma can leave deep scars on our lives, impacting our mental and emotional well-being long after the event itself. While the journey towards healing is unique to each individual, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy has emerged as a powerful tool for many survivors to process traumatic memories and reclaim their lives.

But how do you know if EMDR is the right approach for you? Here are 5 key signs that might indicate you could significantly benefit from this innovative therapy:

1. You Struggle with Persistent Symptoms of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common consequence of trauma, characterized by intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and emotional dysregulation. If you find yourself constantly reliving the traumatic event, experiencing intense emotional distress, and avoiding situations that trigger these memories, EMDR can be a highly effective way to address the core of these symptoms.

2. You Experience Anxiety or Depression Linked to Trauma

Trauma often leads to the development of anxiety and depression. You might find yourself constantly worried, struggling to cope with daily tasks, or experiencing feelings of hopelessness and despair. EMDR therapy can help you identify the underlying traumatic experiences contributing to these symptoms and reprocess them in a way that reduces their emotional impact.

3. You Have Difficulty Managing Difficult Emotions

Trauma can make it challenging to manage strong emotions like anger, fear, and sadness. You might find yourself easily overwhelmed, struggling to express your feelings in a healthy way, or resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms. EMDR helps you process these emotions associated with the traumatic memory, leading to a more balanced emotional state.

4. You Have Negative Beliefs About Yourself or the World Stemming from Trauma

Trauma can often lead to the development of negative self-beliefs, such as “I’m not good enough” or “The world is a dangerous place.” These beliefs can significantly impact your self-esteem and relationships. EMDR therapy can help you challenge these negative thought patterns and develop a more positive and empowering sense of self.

5. You’re Open to Exploring New Approaches to Healing

EMDR therapy is a unique and effective approach to healing, but it might not be the right fit for everyone. It requires an openness to exploring the emotional landscape of trauma and a willingness to engage in the therapeutic process. If you’re ready to try a new approach and actively participate in your healing journey, EMDR could be a transformative experience.

Remember: While these signs can indicate potential benefits from EMDR, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified EMDR therapist to determine if this approach is the best fit for your specific needs and circumstances. A therapist can conduct a comprehensive assessment and guide you towards the most suitable path for your healing journey.

EMDR therapy offers a powerful tool for individuals seeking to heal from the effects of trauma. By recognizing the signs that might point towards its potential benefits, you can take a significant step towards reclaiming your life and emotional well-being.


EMDR therapy - Rewire_your_brain_from_ptsd_trauma

EMDR therapy – Rewire your brain.

Here are some resources that can be helpful for individuals considering EMDR therapy:

EMDR International Association (EMDRIA):

  • Website:
  • This is the leading organization for EMDR therapy, offering a wealth of information about the therapy, including:
    • What is EMDR therapy?
    • How does EMDR work?
    • Conditions treated with EMDR
    • Finding an EMDR therapist
    • Client brochures (adult and child versions)
    • Online resources for therapists

Other helpful resources:

  • The National Center for PTSD:
    • Provides information and resources related to PTSD and trauma, including information on various treatment options like EMDR.
  • The Jed Foundation:
    • Offers resources and support specifically for mental health issues in teens and young adults, including information on trauma and treatment options.
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
    • Provides confidential support and resources for survivors of sexual assault, including information on trauma recovery.
  • The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
    • Offers crisis intervention and support for child abuse victims and their families.

It’s important to remember that these resources are for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are considering EMDR therapy, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine if this approach is right for you and to develop a personalized treatment plan.